August 14, 2022

The clothing industry - otherwise known as the ready-to-wear industry or the textile clothing industry - refers to the large-scale production of clothing products, usually in mass production, but at least in large series. Historically, it grew out of tailors and small sewing shops that produced men's, women's and children's clothes made using handicraft methods, under the influence of the gradual mechanization of the technological processes used in them and as a result of the new market demands that appeared with urbanization. The concept of the clothing industry as an industry therefore refers to those smaller -includes larger factories and plants that deal with the mass and serial production of clothing and other textile products that require assembly. Today, these production units employ workers ranging from a few tens to several thousand. In addition, private entrepreneurs producing custom-made clothes and repairing clothes, as well as small tailors with one or two people, have survived to this day. The summary statistics usually treat the textile industry and the clothing industry together under the name "textile and clothing industry", and the non-expert audience thinks of the two sectors as one and when they hear the term "textile industry", this includes the clothing industry. In fact, they are two separate, although closely related, branches. The textile industry, in addition to supplying materials suitable for processing (fabrics, some of the accessories, such as sewing thread, lining materials, etc.) to the clothing industry, is also a supplier of many other areas (for example, it produces various technical and health and medical textiles), and the clothing industry uses textile materials ready-made clothing products (underwear and outerwear articles, hats, tailored gloves, etc.), as well as other textile products used in households that require cutting and sewing (tablecloths and bed linen, towels and other cloths, curtains, tablecloths, furniture covers, etc.) produces. This justifies the separate discussion of the two sectors.


The development of the clothing industry

The production of clothes in factory sizes began in the second half of the 19th century. Prior to that, the tailors individually made the garments according to the measurements of their customers in their independent workshops. Only the invention of the really useful sewing machine (Barthélémy Thimonnier, 1830) started the process that eventually led to the introduction of industrial mass production at the beginning of the 20th century. The appearance of "ready-to-wear" made to order by a non-specific person dates back to the 1830s, when around 1831 the American George Opdyke produced ready-made clothes in his factory and sold them in a New Orleans department store. Real progress in this field was brought about by the gradual improvement of the sewing machine (Elias Howe, 1846; Isaac Merrit Singer, 1851; Allen Benjamin Wilson, 1850 and others). The American Civil War (1861-1865) gave a big boost to the development of ready-made clothing. At the time of the outbreak, the soldiers were still wearing home-made uniforms, which had to be made in the form prescribed by the government. However, as the war got bigger and bigger, entrepreneurs started to build factories, where they could efficiently produce the required amount of clothing in a short turnaround time. The measurements taken of the enlisted soldiers showed that the clothes could be classified into size groups showing certain regularities, for which uniform size charts could be prepared. These size charts were used even after the end of the war, when they switched to making civilian men's clothes. In the case of women's clothes - after this